Johnson County saw an uptick in thefts last year — here are some simple tips to keep your belongings safe

The Westwood Police Department is encouraging residents and the general public to try the #9PM routine to deter criminals from breaking into or stealing cars.

After a year of increased thefts and auto burglaries, the Westwood Police Department is encouraging residents to implement a collection of practices — dubbed the #9Pm routine.

Other police departments, locally and nationally, have been sharing similar messages, Chief Greg O’Halloran said.

Residents and the general public should try to turn the #9PM routine into a habit to help deter criminals, he said.

“I think working together we can all reduce crime and it starts with the basics of using the locks that you have and the lighting that you have, and then the good old fashioned getting to know your neighbors,” O’Halloran said.

Additionally, O’Halloran said the department wants residents to call when something seems off in their neighborhood so officers can respond.

Below are some steps in the #9PM routine:

  • Remove valuables from your vehicle(s).
  • Lock vehicles’ doors and windows.
  • Take in mail, newspaper and door hangers or solicitations.
  • Close and lock your windows, garage and exterior doors.
  • Turn on exterior lights and set your alarms.
  • Call (913) 782-0720 or 911 if you witness any suspicious activity.